Saturday, July 23, 2011

News From Here & There

Sony FS100E to get FREE firmware upgrade later in year to enable 24p, 30p, 60p, 60i | Philip Bloom | PhilipBloom
Philip reports that one of the "main Sony Europe chaps" told him that Sony would be offering a free update to the camera that gives the Brits US frames rates and 24p (at the moment they have only 25p and 50p while US users have 24p, 30p and 60p) He doesn't know if they will bring 25p and 50p to US users.

Boston Final Cut Pro User Group meeting recap | Mike Tomei | MikeTomeiBlog
Mike's report from the latest BOSFCPUG meeting which focused on Final Cut Pro X, though other things were mentioned:
One piece of news jumped out at me: Daniel Berube mentioned that the Boston SuperMeet is tentatively scheduled for October 20th, but the date may change to accommodate the schedule of a "special guest." Who could it be? Maybe Larry Jordan, or Kevin Smith (who was bumped from the Vegas SuperMeet), or maybe Apple executives begging us to stick with FCP X. We shall see. Last year's Boston SuperMeet was a very fun evening, as was this year's SuperMeet at NAB.

Nine Things You Should Do After Installing OS X Lion | Greg Kumparak
| TechCrunch
Some advice for the early adopters:
Leave It Alone For A Few Hours:
Here’s why: Lion makes a good number of changes to the way the Spotlight search works. These changes seem to require a reindexing of your hard drive’s contents. The problem? Apple starts this reindexing immediately after Lion boots up for the first time,

Is crowdsourcing simply exploitation? Sheri Candler takes a stand
| Edward J Delaney | DocumentaryTech
Using the net crowds to provide you with free content, and even promote the documentary in which you used that material; sounds like a savvy idea, right? Or are they just using people? And who is using who? An interesting article:
I blogged back then about my reservations about crowdsourcing, and more specifically “citizen journalism” (aka “free work”), calling it the Tom Sawyering of the media, as when Tom dupes his friends into doing his work – whitewashing the fence – for free.

Larger Batteries |
Planning on traveling with your camera gear? Here's information on the lithium camera rules for air travel.
You are allowed one larger lithium ion battery installed in a device, plus up to 2 spare larger lithium ion batteries. These are in addition to any smaller lithium ion batteries. For smaller lithium ion batteries, just follow the Basic rules.
Lithium ion batteries rated over 300 watt-hours (25 g ELC) are forbidden.

One Size Fits All Zip Gear |
Jag35 has just released this One SIze Fits All Zip Gear is an 11 1/4″ X 1/2 Universal Zip gear design to fit most still lenses. $21.00

VidCaster comes out of beta, now available to all | Ryan Lawler | Gigaom
VidCaster, a San Francisco startup providing professional distribution tools, has come out of beta:
VidCaster’s big value proposition — and its competitive advantage against some of the larger online video distribution platforms, like Brightcove or Ooyala — is that it combines all the tools one might need to set up a video page and archive, without requiring all the usual necessary technical expertise used to deploy those sites.

Introducing Adobe Audition CS5.5: Learn by Video | Maxim Jago | PeachPit Press
Just released, Introducing Adobe Audition CS5.5: Learn by Video [Amazon] is a focused video workshop and accompanying 48-page full-color book that will teach editors how to create, edit, and enhance audio for broadcast, film, and video, using Adobe Audition CS5.5.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rule Camera Pub Night - Frontline Documentary: Jul 28

[This updates a previous post with more information]

CRASH & BURN: Making docs on a tight turnaround at FRONTLINE

FRONTLINE's Director of Broadcast, Tim Mangini, will host this month's Pub Night with a behind-the-scenes look at how FRONTLINE gets top-notch journalism on the air quickly when the news comes calling.

Using the programs created during the Egypt uprising and after the Death of Osama bin Laden as examples, Tim will describe the methods used to get timely, thought-provoking documentaries on the air in weeks or days instead of the usual 6-12 months for a typical film.

From secretly flying in support equipment for crews in Egypt to troubleshooting the satellite truck trying to downlink the rushes in the hours before broadcast, you'll learn how FRONTLINE approaches these unique circumstances.

Thursday, July 28
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Pizza and Beer

Direction to Rule Boston Camera

DaVinci Resolve Lite Mac 8.0.1 Now Available

Announced back in April at NAB, DaVinci Resolve Lite is a new reduced feature version of DaVinci Resolve that includes many powerful color correction features in a downloadable software package available free of charge.
Blackmagic: Support Center
Blackmagic: Blackmagic Design Announces DaVinci Resolve Lite

Quick Links

Adobe Creative Suite's Lion limitations | Jackie Dove | Macworld
Adobe posted a tech note listing incompatibilities with Lion, and now Macworld has provided a more detailed interpretation.
Meanwhile, at last nights BOSFCPUG meeting, one presenter said that if you're using Adobe Creative Suite CS 5.5 you should not update to Lion just yet.
Adobe: Known Issues with Adobe products on Mac OS 10.7 Lion

Fear of Actors | Guy Ducker | Tales From The Cutting Room Floor
Noting that directors and actors often has a dysfunctional relationship, Guy offers tips on working with them:
Try to find with the actor the source of what you want, not the result – don’t tell them to be angry, let them know why they’re angry.

How to put your DSLR movie on iTunes | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Some tips on how to get your movie on iTunes:
There are two ways of putting your movie on iTunes. You can submit it to Apple iTunes Connect (as you can music and books) but there is a strict approval process. You may have a better chance in going through an aggregator. Apple themselves say that most of the independent content on iTunes comes via this route, rather than direct submittals via iTunes Connect.

Advice on Launching an Independent Career: an Open Letter to an Actor Friend | NoFilmSchool
This advice applies to filmmakers as much as it applies to actors:
Next I’d recommend Robin Schmidt’s great series here on building an online video following through YouTube. He covered how to grow an audience, cultivate relationships, and motivate YouTubers to subscribe to your channel. “Audience relations” is almost a full-time job, and it might not be something you want to do as an actor/comedian, but someone on the team has to do it. If you want to have what other people don’t, you have to be willing to do what other people won’t.

Cameras are for christmas, lenses are for life - what high-quality optics bring to budget film-making | Vincent Rice | Gizmag
Seemingly great advice; spend your money on good lenses that will last a life-time. Sounds good in theory. Of course, all good theories can come back and bite you; especially when it comes to what mount to buy or what advances camera technology might make in the future.
This article suggest that PL lenses are the way to go, though that isn't going to help you if you have a Canon 5D. The Zeiss CP .2 lenses featured though, make especially good sense because you can change the mount on the lenses (but they are $3,000 each!)

3D Cinematographer Vince Pace Reacts to Slowing 3D Sales | 3D Focus
Director of Photography Vince Pace and Co-Chairman and CEO of CAMERON | PACE Group (a 3D rig manufacturer) defends 3D:
My success through working with James Cameron has always been about complementing the 2D presentation – that is the key to success. A lot of people come in and ask what lens they should use for 3D or how they should frame something for 3D. That's the biggest mistake that people make.

Cheap Matte Box – DON’T DO IT | CheesyCam
A warning against some especially low-cost and flimsy Matte boxes that aren't even worth the low price.

5 Reasons Directors Need Editors | Christian Bell | Raindance
Why the director may not be the best person to also edit the movie:
You need someone heartless in the editing suite. Someone ruthless and cold blooded who is not afraid to throw out anything that doesn't serve your story. As the director, that someone is certainly not you.

How We Snapped a Picture-Perfect Space Shuttle Launch: A Photography Team's Triumph | Imelda B. Joson and Edwin L. Aguirre |
Now that you've missed your chance, here's an article on how to take a good picture of the Shuttle launch.
Our biggest challenge was how to construct weatherproof housing for the camera (an old Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT) and a sound-activated trigger that would fire the camera's shutter once it picked up the roar from the shuttle's main engines. And we had to finish building and testing the system in less than two weeks. Talk about time pressure!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Panasonic DMC-FZ47 Super Zoom offers more manual controls in video

A video taken using the just announced Panasonic DMC-FZ47 caught my eye; it's a tilt-shift effect that's built into the camera and is called "Minature Effect." I'm thinking this effect is now officially over-used, but I still like it! This camera makes available more manual controls when shooting video, letting the user set aperture and shutter as desired (something that's not always available on budget-priced cameras.) Here's some more details about the camera:

The LUMIX FZ47 has a 24x optical zoom in a 25mm ultra-wide angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens, full-High Definition 1080i video-recording capabilities. The 24x optical zoom is optimized for video recording with a mechanism designed to minimize the noise of AF and zooming. The full-HD video capability is complemented with the high-quality stereo sound of Dolby Digital Stereo Creator and a Wind Cut function to reduce noise from background wind automatically.

A Creative Video mode lets the user set the shutter speed and aperture manually. The new Creative Control and Photo Style comes with a variety of options including: Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Miniature Effect, Film Grain and Pin Hole. The iA (Intelligent Auto) mode is also available during video mode, and the following features engage automatically: POWER O.I.S., Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent Exposure.

The camera will ship in August and retail for $399.

PCMag: New Panasonic DMC-FZ47 Features Manual Video Recording
DPReview: Panasonic launches FZ47/FZ48 24x superzooms
PCWorld: Panasonic Announces Double-Duty Megazoom, AA-Powered Pocket Cam

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47/FZ48 Miniature Effect Video | YouTube

Recorded with the new compact super-zoom camera DMC-FZ47/48 using Miniature Effect mode in its Creative Control function.

News From Here & There

10 Things wish I knew the first time I opened Premiere Pro | Clay Asbury
| Post Tips
Thinking of switching to, or buying Premiere? Clay offers his advice to those just starting out:
8. Show Audio Time Units when making an Audio Edit.
Helpful when looking at video frames don’t cut it. You can do this in the Source or Program Monitor. Go to the the pulldown menu and select “Show Audio Time Units”.

How to rate your social media footprint and engagement for filmmakers
| Chris Jones | ChrisJonesBlog
What is Klout? Do you have it?
Klout is an online tool that analyses and rates your social media presence, engagement, influence, outreach…

How Documentaries Have Changed the World, Literally | Maggie Pearce
| SnagFilms
An interesting look at three documentaries, and the effect they appear to have had on society and business. Unfortunately, the studies aren't listed, which would have made this more useful.

Amazon Beams Up CBS; Major Step In Instant Video Competition With Netflix
| Staci Kramer | PaidContent
Amazon continues to expand the library of free video's available for streaming by Amazon Prime customers:
Currently, Amazon Prime Instant Video includes more than 6,000 movies and TV shows. The CBS content will boost it by roughly 33 percent to 8,000 when it’s added later this summer.

An Editor's Guide to Adobe Premiere Pro: Importing Media | PeachPit Press
A sample chapter from the book: An Editor's Guide to Adobe Premiere Pro

Web Series Creator Yuri Baranovsky On Succeeding In The Web Video Industry
| Megan O'Neill | Social Times
Writer, producer, director and actor Yuri Baranovsky has worked on a number of web- series and offers his thoughts on the medium:
“People are going to tell you that you need to only make videos of a certain length, to aim for a niche audience, to do this, to do that—but this is not a world where standards stick. No one knows what really works yet, and things are literally changing month by month by month. So, go out, make something good and see what happens—this, more than anything, is the most important step.

5 Current Trends Shaping the Television Industry | Lauren Drell | Mashable
Where do things stand? A list of current trends explained: 1. TV Embraces the Internet, 2. The Box Office Pulls People Away From Their TVs, 3. LCD and Flat-Panel Screens Dominate, 4. TV Is Going Social, and 5. Advertising Is More Targeted.

Lets Play Chess | CanonRumors
This is fun, a chess set using Nikon and Canon lenses; all $151,202.17 of them!

Rule Camera Pub Night - Frontline Documentary: Jul 28

UPDATED: See: this more recent post for detailed information: Rule Camera Pub Night - Frontline Documentary: Jul 28

Rule Boston Camera's next Pub Night with be held on Thursday July 28th, and will focus on PBS' FRONTLINE and "their method for turning around docs with crazy-tight deadlines."

This should be a great evening; I went to a panel earlier this year featuring some people from Frontline, and it was really informative! NotesOnvideo: Creating Documentaries

July 28th, 6-8pm (free beer and pizza!)
Rule Boston Camera: 395 Western Ave · Boston, MA 02135


B & H New Pre-Order policy

I've been a happy customer of B & H for many years, though one thing that slightly annoyed me was that they charged your credit card for something, even if it wasn't in stock. Well now even that problem is solved; B & H has changed their pre-order policy and they now charge your credit card only when the product ships.

Note: NotesOnVideo is an affiliate of B & H and earns a commission on orders placed using links to B & H from this site.

SONY NEX-FS100UK in Stock
Apropos of nothing, I note that the Sony NEX-FS100UK [the Sony NEX-FS100 with the kit lens] is currently in stock at B & H. They haven't listed it in stock for some time, so this could be an indication of supply improving.

I only noticed this because yesterday I was looking for an item to link the above post to, and the NEX-FS100UK had been out of stock the last couple of months and I was going to link to that, but today as I was about to post this I discovered it was in stock!
B & H: Sony NEX-FS100UK Super 35mm Sensor Camcorder (with Lens)

Mac Lion Update 2

Initial thoughts on OS X Lion
| John Montgomery | a tasty slurry of things digital [and more]
John's been using Lion for a few weeks, and offers his thoughts and experience. He's found it mostly painless, though getting used to the change in scrolling has taken a while. Also he notes:
A big app in the business is Nuke — and as I mentioned above it does not run on my Lion MBP. I’ve found bugs when using applications such as After Effects (10.5), Photoshop (5.1), Final Cut Pro, and others. But no “showstoppers” as we call them in bug testing.

OS X 10.7 Lion and AE | Steve Forde | Adobe
For After Effects specifically – there are no known specific issues to report with CS 5 or CS 5.5 running on 10.7 Lion.

What's new in Lion: QuickTime and Preview | Christopher Breen | Macworld
While Apple hasn't added back in all the features that were in QuickTime Player 7, they have expanded the functionality of the QuickTime Player in Lion:
Specifically, the new version of QuickTime Player (10.1) provides two new export commands in the File menu: Export and Export for Web. [...] QuickTime provides just a handful of templated options: 420p; 720p; iPod touch & iPhone 3GS; and iPad, iPhone 4 & Apple TV. The Export for Web command provides three options: Wi-Fi (H.264, 1-mbps maximum data rate), Cellular (H.264, 220-kbps max) and Broadband (H.264, 5-mbps).

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Review | Robert Mohns | Macintouch
The first part of Macintouch's review provides an overview, list of "What's Gone", installation overview and covers changes to the Finder and many of the standard system apps.

Macintouch also hosts an ongoing discussion: Commentary

iTunes: OS X Lion - Apple®
iTunes: OS X Lion Server - Apple®

Avid Summer Tour - Media Composer 5.5 and Telestream in Boston on July 26th

Tuesday, July 26th | 6:00pm - 8:00pm | Cocktails & Appetizers

UMass Alumni Club, 225 Franklin Street, 33rd Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Parking available on street and in the garage for $5.

See a demo of Media Composer 5.5, focusing on:
  • Find features and workflows that accelerate your editing
  • See how Media Composer 5.5 works with AJA Io Express and other gear you may already have
  • Learn about the PhraseFind, powered by Nexidia, dialog search option and other productivity enhancing tools
  • Gain insight into how ISIS shared storage enhances efficiency and collaboration
Also; Telestream Representative, Alex Bisset will offer a presentation and live product demonstration focused on solving common business problems that are apparent in the modern day video-centric environment. He will demonstrate Telestream Pipeline HD, Telestream Vantage and Telestream Episode 6 - to show you how to solve common problems and how to automate an efficient media workflow, specific to your organizations needs.

More information: Avid Summer Tour

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mac OSX Lion Update 1

[UDPATE 3:45 PM]

Thoughts on Lion | Larry Jordan |
A warning about not upgrading in the middle of a project, and also a note about Final Cut Pro X:
Third, a couple of weeks ago, I contacted Apple to see if Lion would bring any new features to Final Cut Pro X. Apple told me that it would not.

Macworld: How to make a bootable Lion install disc or drive
Macworld: Installing Lion: What you need to know
This article is well worth reading.

Macworld also has articles on How to install Lion over Leopard, and Should you do a 'clean install' of Lion?

[UPDATE 1:30 PM]

Adobe Support Note: Known Issues with Adobe products on Mac OS 10.7 Lion

Lion is Smooth, But Tried Too Hard To Be iOS | Brian Chen | Wired
Mac OS X Lion: This Is Not the Future We Were Hoping For | Jesus Diaz | Gizmodo


Apple Support: Final Cut Pro: Compatible versions for OS X Lion
The versions of Final Cut Pro listed below are compatible with OS X Lion.
  • Final Cut Pro X
  • Final Cut Pro 7.0.3 (Final Cut Studio (2009) with all available updates applied)

BOSFCPUG: Blackmagic Design Releases Support for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion
New software update 8.2 for DeckLink, Intensity, Multibridge and H.264 Pro Recorder products is available for download now

OSX Lion upgrade went without a hiccup on MacBookPro w/ SSD now on to the MacPro... Mail is cool looking & many swipe gestures to confuse me

Details: The download is ~4GB, and takes about 20 minutes to install (once you've managed to download it!) according to Engadget: Apple Mac OS X Lion available now in the App Store

Lion installed in about 45 minutes… still waiting for mail to convert old mailboxes. Scroll is backwards with new finger actions

NoFilmSchool: What Filmmakers Should Know About Upgrading to Mac OS X Lion
Covers the state of some app compatibility and other advice: Bottom line: with questionable pro application support, if your computer is working fine as-in and you’re a content creator, don’t jump to upgrade right away.

Quick Links

EF Mount Video Camera [CR1] | CanonRumors
A hint of a rumor that Canon is testing a prototype camera that works with Canon EF mount lenses. Large sensor? Probably. Shipping? No word, though it seems an announcement isn't even expected until next year.

Samsung Patent Creates Shallow Depth-of-Field in Digicams | Charlie Sorrel
| Wired
A patent to create shallow depth-of-field from a small sensor camera, but using two lenses. I have no idea if this makes sense; I suspect it might be simpler and easier to stick with a large sensor and a bigger lens.

3DA1 Camcorder in Space | Flickr
NASA astronaut Sandy Magnus, STS-135 mission specialist, is pictured recording imagery of the International Space Station from the flight deck of the space shuttle Atlantis during rendezvous and docking operations with the orbital outpost. NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson, mission commander, is at left.
See also: The Critical View: Panasonic AG-3DA1 Full HD 3D Camcorder En Route to Space Station Onboard the Final NASA Space Shuttle

Call For Entries | Prescreen
Prescreen, an online movie service is looking for content:
Prescreen is currently accepting feature length films on a variety of topics and genres. Whether your film is a documentary on competitive hopscotch, a sci-fi romantic comedy thriller, or a live performance we look forward to viewing your submission to determine if it is a good fit for Prescreen.

Just When You Think You’re Being Original | Alex van Hurkman |
Alex finds that someone has already been using a color technique he thought he had created:’s sobering to realize that whatever look you’re tinkering around with, some painter or another probably did the same thing a hundred or more years ago.

London SuperMeet: Autodesk Part 1 Joe Billington on Smoke For Mac 2012
| FCPUGSuperMeet | YouTube
Joe Billington of Autodesk gave a presentation on Autodesk Smoke for Mac 2012 at last months London SuperMeet.

2 Reel Guys - Episode 7 - Lighting | Larry Jordan | YouTube
In this episode of 2 Reel Guys, hosts Norman Hollyn and Larry Jordan discuss the basics of lighting, and provide some examples of how a simple change in lighting can have a dramatic effect on the viewer's emotions.

A Conversation with 'Tabloid' Director Errol Morris | Adam Schartoff | POV Blog
In his latest film, Tabloid, Morris has found a spectacular protagonist in Joyce McKinney, a former Miss Wyoming who became a tabloid sensation decades ago when she tried to kidnap the object of her obsession, a Mormon missionary.
See also: The Playlist: Interview: Errol Morris Talks The Anxiety Of Making ‘Tabloid’ & Finding The Laughter In His Films

Rocking out with ToonIt | Sarah Wise | Red Giant
Using ToonIt (a tool that makes video look like a comic book) to create a music video:
We initially tried compositing all of the footage and then running it through ToonIt, but we found that the faster motion and switching dynamic of the flames caused havoc with the settings depending on the pattern of the flames. Too much detail on the flames, and you got too much detail on the faces etc. Too little detail on the flames, and you lose the toon effect on the faces. We ended up running each element through the software individually and then compositing them together. Some of the sequences ended up being 4-5 passes.

D|Zoom | Jag35
The D|Zoom is a gear driven zoom lever allowing the operator to pull zoom from the side of the camera, similar to how a follow focus enables focus pulls from the side. Single rail, all aluminum, CNC machined 15mm rod mount. $199.99

Why You Should Get Google Plus and Unlock Its Potential for Freelance Filmmakers
| Evan Luzi | The Black And Blue
I don't even have a Google+ account, but Evan seems to think it will be very useful for filmmakers.
For you as a filmmaker, if Google Plus is here to stay, it has the opportunity to change how you network with crew, how you produce movies with them, and even how you find work.

The perseverance of Media Manager Alex Hemingway | Sara McIntyre | 25 Hour Day
If you're interested in getting into the film industry, this article about how Alex got to be media wrangler for a project with over 85 hours of digital footage and 15 hours of film footage may be inspiring:
He started out running errands and getting coffee, and soon discovered that he was happiest with the consistency found in post-production. His formula for success combines a knack for editing and media management, a strong work ethic, and the ability to handle anything that comes up

Seven Inspiring TED Talks About Filmmaking | Nadia Jones | NoFilmSchool
I love TED talks, they are often intriguing, inspiring, and or thought provoking. Nadia has collected together the best ones about filmmaking, including:
  • Jehane Noujaim Wishes for a Global Day of Film
  • Jeff Skoll Makes Movies that Matter
  • Shekhar Kapur: We Are the Stories We Tell Ourselves
  • James Cameron: Before Avatar… a Curious Boy

Roger Deakins talks with John de Borman | BSC | Vimeo
Roger Deakins BSC ASC talks with BSC President John de Borman after a screening of The Shawshank Redemption in London's Apollo cinema. An interesting chat; there's quite a bit of discussion about dealing with constraints during production.

Roger Deakins talks with John de Borman. from BSC on Vimeo.

OS X Lion Released

iTunes: OS X Lion - Apple®
iTunes: OS X Lion Server - Apple®

Macworld: OS X Lion: The Complete Macworld Review

Ars Technica: Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: the Ars Technica Review

Apple has also announced a new MacBook Air, 27-inch display and Mac Minis, all with Thunderbolt. The biggest surprise: NO OPTICAL DRIVE IN THE NEW Mac Mini!! Wow!

Don't forget, you need to be running the latest version of Snow Leopard (not Leopard or Tiger) to be able to run the App Store and download and install Lion.

Apple will reportedly be selling the OS on USB sticks (for $69) in August for those that haven't upgraded.

[UPDATED 10:00AM ]
Roaring Apps is maintaining an Application Compatibility Wiki for Mac OS X Lion

TNW: 5 Things to Do to Prepare for Mac OS X Lion

VideoQ&A: Stick Mics

Do you have any recommendations for stick microphones?
Personally, I'm not a big fan of stick - or handheld - mics. Are you going to be doing man-in-the-street interviews? Is that why you want to get one of these? Because for sit-down interviews, I either use a shotgun microphone, or alternatively, I prefer to use lavaliere mics; either wired or wireless.

The problem with handheld mics is that if they aren't highly directional, or held close to the person speaking, then they will pick up a lot of surrounding sound.  If they are hyper-directional - like a shotgun - and they aren't pointed directly at the person speaking, then they won't pick up the audio clearly!

Shotguns can be a useful choice in place of handheld mics because they will cut out some of the surrounding sound, and they don't have to be close to the persons face. Ideally you will have someone out of shot actually pointing the microphone at the person speaking. This is especially vital if the person is moving about, and a problem if you were planning on simply placing the mic on top of your camera.

A lot of people use a small shotgun mic mounted on top of their camera in place of the built-in microphone on consumer camcorders and DSLRs. The Rode VideoMic [$149.00] seems to be popular for this use. These are usually a step-up from the internal mic, but if the camera isn't close to the subject you can still get a lot of background noise.

I have seen shotguns being used handheld in place of stick mics. They aren't ideal for that, but it is possible to use them this way. If they are used this way, it's important to remind the talent to keep them pointing at the person talking.

The only shotgun I've had much experience with is the Sennheiser K6, which is a nice, if expensive choice.

There's quite a few shotguns for sale under $200, the Azden SGM-1X - Super-Cardioid Shotgun Condenser Microphone [$149.95] seems to be popular and if you check the B &H site you'll find a lot of reviews of it:

After experimenting with a shotgun for a while, I still wasn't happy with the results I was getting; it was still recording a lot of other sound. Lavalieres do a good job of cutting down background noise because they aren't that sensitive. They don't have to be; they are attached to the talent! The downside is that the talent does have to do a little work to put the mic on; it's preferable to run the mic cable under their shirt or top. There are other problems with lavaliers; if the talent turns their head without turning their body the audio level from the mic can drop significantly. Loud breaths, clothes rubbing over the mic, and the talent touching the mic, are all problems that occur frequently. That being said, I still prefer them for recording.

While you can buy relatively inexpensive wired lavalier mics, wireless ones are preferred because you have no cables for people to trip over! A good wireless lavalier starts at around $400 or more (the very cheap wireless systems can suffer from interference.).

Some people don't like the sound of lavalieres, and I appreciate that they aren't the be-all and end-all, but for a one-man shooting crew, I think they are the easiest compromise.

Another thing you might want to invest in are good headphones to monitor the audio while recording i.e. Sony MDR-7506 Circumaural Closed-Back Professional Monitor Headphone [$83.95] Even better, if you can, have someone other than the camera operator monitor the audio. They are more likely to catch problems like the mic audio dropping, or something rubbing on or touching the microphone, and other audio issues. It's very difficult to really monitor audio and keep your mind on the video being shot at the same time. You can do it, but it's a lot easier with help!

For another perspective on audio capture, this article at FilmmakerIQ offers a slightly different perspective: Audio advice from a frustrated boom op


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Final Cut Pro X Information & Resources 17


Secret Final Cut Pro X: Some of Motion inside | Alex Gollner | alex4d
Alex Gollner at alex4d has been rooting through Final Cut Pro X resource files, and has found some interesting things. Whether these are glimpses of things to come - or things removed as plans changed - remains to be seen:
...two explanations (amongst many) arise: more Motion features will be added to Final Cut Pro in future or to make sure that FCP X can accurately display Motion effects, a large part of Motion is built into FCP X but will never be usable directly by editors.
See also: Secret Final Cut Pro X: Media and subtypes
Secret Final Cut Pro X: XML & multi-user editing

Why we're betting everything on FCP X | CrumplePop
CurmplePop makes effects for Final Cut Pro, so it's probably not a surprise that CrumplePop remains committed to Final Cut Pro X. In a fairly lengthy post, they offer an explanation of why they see a bright future for Final Cut Pro X, and why "In a Year, Most Professional Editors will be Using FCP X."
As developers for FCP, we have a strong bias in favor of FCP’s continued success. That said, we had spent much of the year prior to FCP X’s release expecting that we might have to leave the platform. We were hearing the same rumors that everyone else was – that FCP X would be another iMovie, wouldn’t be pro, etc. – and we were ready to bail. Happily, we don’t have to.


FCP Tip of the Month 002: Color Correction in FCP X | ChesapeakeSystems | YouTube
Luis Sierra provides a quick walk-through of adjusting shadows, highlights, and midtones using the exposure tools for primary color correction in Final Cut Pro X.


FCPX vs. Premiere Pro CS5.5 for Final Cut Pro 7 Editors | Jan Ozer | EventDV
A comparison of Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro for the event videographer that currently uses Final Cut Pro 7.
So the time has come to switch, either to FCPX, which is a completely different animal from FCP 7, or to an NLE from another vendor. In making this decision, you should consider multiple variables, including cost, the ability to continue working with older projects, the learning curve of the new editor, and the effectiveness of the various tools. By all of these measures, Premiere Pro is a better choice than FCPX.

Final Cut Pro to Premiere Pro – six months in | Paul Joy | PaulJoy
About six months ago, Paul switched from Final Cut to Adobe Premiere. This article includes the benefits of Premiere Pro, as well as the things he misses from Final Cut Pro.
Most of the relearning I’ve gone through over the last six months has been fairly painless, there’s a lot to like about Premiere Pro Cs5 and even with these points that I’ve listed I still prefer using it over FCP 7. Hopefully some of these features will make it in to future versions but even in it’s current incarnation I’ve not come across anything in a project that couldn’t be achieved with the tools available in the CS5 suite.

Novacut Pro Video Editor | KickStarter
A group is working on producing an open-source editor:
Novacut is not just a video editor, it's a revolution. An open source, collaborative, cloud-enabled platform that is created by artists for artists.


Why Apple dares to change your apps | Michael Gartenberg | Macworld
I generally agree with the thrust of the article and this statement:
At the end of the day Apple’s willing to sacrifice the tens of thousands for the hundreds of millions. (Although of course the company would love to keep both groups as loyal customers.)
But, I have problems with this passage:
The quick feedback to the Final Cut user base is evidence of the company’s ability to listen and respond.
I'm not sure I - or many other editors - world agree that Apple has demonstrated an ability to listen and respond. Is the FAQ they posted supposed to be the demonstration of this ability?

Quick Links

Should you buy or rent Adobe Software? | Macworld
Adobe now offers the option to rent their software by the month. Should you? Macworld has printed two columns representing the opposing points of view.

Personally, I think the "renting" option makes sense if you can't afford to pay the money up front, or if you know you only need the software for a short term project. Otherwise, buying makes the most sense.

Right now, it makes even more sense to buy if you own Final Cut Pro, because you can take advantage of the 50% off switch discount on either the Production Premium suite or Premiere Pro is probably the best choice (see below)!
Ownership is the way to go with Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 | David Blatner
Why an Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 subscription makes sense | Pamela Pfiffner

Offer runs through September 30th: Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium - License [Add the Full version to the cart, then in the cart, click on the "Click here to enter a promo code." text just below the details and enter "SWITCH" and the discount is applied]

WEBINAR: DaVinci Resolve On The Mac For Video Editors | FilmmakingWebinars
September 8, 2011 @ 10:00 AM PDT to 11:30 AM PDT
Free on the day.
Using a project based approach, we will walk you through your first Resolve project from start to finish. We'll take a TV Spot that was cut in Final Cut Pro 7, grade it in Resolve, then return to Final Cut Pro for titling and final delivery.

We will also discuss working with Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro as well as using the built-in scene detection for projects without the sequence metadata.

Japan Committee of International 3D Society Founded | BusinessWire
The I3DS Japan Committee is an industry organization established for the purpose of contributing to the steady growth of stereoscopic 3D technologies and content creation through education, awareness-raising, and recognition activities.

Griptionary overview | Matthews Studio Equipment
A dictionary of terms for Grips. Includes the ever-important C-47 [read where the name comes from here: Know Your Film Jargon: The (Questionably) True Story of the C-47.
via: @IAmNeedCreative

Winding Down Harry Potter’s Visual Effects | Bill Desowitz | IndieWire
A look back at the changing effects in the Potter movies.
The biggest achievement, in fact, was Hogwarts, which was computer-generated for the first time both for budgetary and artistic reasons. Double Negative and MPC split up the school and surrounding environments, and spent 18 months just on the design.

iPhone app claims to mimic DSLR photography | Amy Davies | TechRadar
- Simple and easy HD interface is fully optimized for iPhone 4
- Special photo improving math algorithms
- 10 digital photo effects to improve your photos in app (different blur, hdr, sharpen filters, noise, emboss effects and more!)
iTunes: Camera PRO+ for iPhone 4 - KenigArt

Monday, July 18, 2011

Final Cut Pro X Information & Resources 16


100 Final Cut Pro X Questions Answered | Scott Simmons | The EditBlog
Answers to questions asked during a recent Final Cut Pro X webinar:
1) is there an extend edit command for trimming?
Yes, shift + X will extend the selected edit to the skimmer or playhead. Also get to know Trim Start option + [ and Trim End option + ] as they are very helpful when extending edits as well.

Michael Wohl Demos Hidden FCP X Editing Tricks at LA Final Cut Pro Users Group Meeting | Rounik Sethi | MacProVideo
Three videos of a recent LAFCPUG meeting on June 28th 2011 where Michael Wohl (one of the first designers of the original Final Cut and insider at Apple over the past 9 months) demoed some hidden editing tricks within Final Cut Pro X.

App Store Volume Purchasing for Business | Apple
There's now a page on Apple's site covering volume purchasing.


FCPX Tutorial: How To Use The Powerful Final Cut Pro X Color Matching Tool | Danny Greer |
Explains how to match colors between clips

Sky Color Correction in Final Cut Pro X | Matt's Macintosh | YouTube
How to get a blue sky through color correction in Final Cut Pro X using Add Color Mask.

Final Cut Pro X to After Effects Workflow | Matt's Macintosh | YouTube
A tutorial on a basic workflow for exporting and importing footage between Final Cut Pro X and After Effects. NOTE: It's not exporting the timeline.

FCPX tip: how to sync a sound effect to a generator animation - quickly
| Butch Mahoney | YouTube
Covers searching for sounds in the library, adding markers to indicate keyframes, splitting and retiming clips.

Video Tutorial: How to Run FCP 7 and FCP X on the same computer
| Ashley Kennedy |
Pretty exhaustively covers issues when running both applications on the same computer.


FCPX Project Transfer Solution | Southland DSLR
Examines how Projects and Events are organized, and how to move them from one location to another, and potential problems to avoid:
The one main pill I can see that I have to swallow is now I will not be able to save a project into my own folder structure, I have to let FCPX handle that by using only the two projects and events folders in the main root of the drive.

FCPX Shortcut: Adjusting the Volume of Clips in the Timeline
| Danny Greer |
How to quickly adjust the volume level of any clip, or group of clips, in the Final Cut Pro X timeline.


‘Event Manager X’ Aims to Bring Finer Control to Final Cut Pro X’s Media Management | NoFilmSchool
Short writeup on a $4.99 utility for mounting and unmounting Event and Project folders.

Free camera aperture effect for FCPX | Butch Mahoney |
An effect built in Motion. Note: FCP.Co is compiling a list of free effects here: Free FCPX effects

Free Timecode Reader for FCPX | Peter Wiggins |
Link to free Timecode Reader (use second link.)


3400 clips and counting.... | FCPX_megatest
Final Cut Pro X performs okay with thousands of clips in the Events Library, though there seems to be some performance fall-off.


Coming to Avid Media Composer: 64-bit, 4K and higher projects, a new interface | Brady Betzel | Post Magazine
Another report from Avid's "Committed to the Professional" evening.

Committed to the Professional - Burbank Event Highlights | Avid | YouTube
Avid posts a short video blog of the "Committed to the Professional" event

Avid Pounces in the Wake of Apple's Final Cut Pro X 'Debacle' | Carolyn Giardina
| Hollywood Reporter
Another report from the Avid event:
“I think it was really important, in the wake of the debacle of what Apple did with Final Cut, that Avid stayed and are there for the professionals,” Dan Lebental, editor of upcoming Cowboys & Aliens -- which was cut on an Avid system -- told The Hollywood Reporter during the event.

Kevin Smith on Avid Rough Cut | FilmmakerIQ
Filmmaker Kevin Smith talks about his filmmaking experience using Media Composer and reactions to his unconventional approach to promoting his latest film Red State.

Am I avidly avid about Avid? | Rob Ashe | The Bear Wrestler
Looks at what EditShare, Adobe and Avid have done in response to Apple's release of Final Cut Pro.


The magnetic timeline and reasonable defaults | Chris Kenny | Nice Dissolve
A defense of the Magnetic Timeline and it's implementation of "reasonable defaults."

Final Cut Pro X: New Dog, Old Tricks | Alisdair | Cooking With Apples
A positive review:
When I first launched FCPX I have to admit I screamed a little inside – what have you done Apple? At the end of the day though, or more accurately by around lunchtime, I was left bemused considering the furore over its release just how quickly and easily I was able to adapt to the revolutionary new way of working, and cut together my first FCPX project.

After Final Cut Pro debacle, does Apple still care about creative pros?
| Dave Girard | Ars Technica
A level-headed analysis looking not just at Final Cut Pro X:
While I'm deeply invested in Apple's desktop Mac Pro line, I'm also realistic about Apple's faults and about how the company views content creation professionals as it becomes increasingly consumer-oriented. Which is why the recent, most contentious example of Apple's approach—the FCP X launch—wasn't much of a surprise to me.

Steve Jobs is just sort of, kind of, into you | Rob Ashe | The Bear Wrestler
A somewhat positive opinion piece:
I can deal with what I see as missing features as these things will hopefully come in time but the “iMovie pro” term that people were throwing around is pretty accurate. It was built perhaps with not the same code but the same mentality. I think it would have done wonders for Apple if they called it “iFilm” or just “Final Cut”.

Maccast 2011.07.16 – Final Cut Pro X | MacCast
I haven't listend to this, though given that the three video pros featured, Richard Harrington, Ron Brinkmann, and Chris Fenwick, have posted extensive and negative articles about Final Cut Pro X, it's pretty easy to guess what direction this is going to go.

Quick Links

Red Epic on the Road – First Impression Video Blog
| Tom Guilmette |
A video tutorial shooting with the Red Epic.
My biggest bit of advice when shooting Red:
Do not clip the whites, clip color channels or have too many pixels in noise. Once detail is gone or noise is present in raw r3d files, you can’t fix it in post.

SoundWorks Collection: Dolby Presents Surrounded: 7.1 Cinema & Beyond
| Michael Coleman | Vimeo
Dolby gathered a group of cinema industry leaders and innovators from around the world for an exclusive Filmmakers' Forum held on Monday, July 11, 2011 in San Francisco, CA: The Impact of 7.1 Surround Sound on 2D and 3D Movies [54 min]

Sunday Movie Blog: The Most Important Thing a Screenwriter Should Know
| Clive | Filmutopia's Sunday Morning Movie Blog
Why write? What to write?
A screenwriter's career, therefore, is really about increasing the perceived value of their work... and that is the one thing that every screenwriter should know. That a screenwriter's ability to create a career, only really comes down to their ability to write things that investors perceive to be of value.

The Distribution Dilemma: How to Find an Audience | C.J. Perry | FilmSlate
It's unclear whether changes in technology - the move away for DVDs and towards internet distribution - are helping or hurting the big studios and indie producers. This article is more a look at the situation, than a guide on what to do.

The Wrap – Film Festivals: The Good, Bad, and Ugly | John Hess | FilmmakerIQ
Filmmaker IQ's John Hess provides first hand experience about the festival circuit and a wrap up of the articles from the week of July 10-16, 2011

WEBINAR: Hollywood-Style Effects in Apple Final Cut Pro & Boris RED
| Vik Narayan | GoToMeeting
Thursday, July 21, 2011 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Vik Narayan demonstrates how to create Hollywood-style effects with Boris RED 5. Learn how to paint with clone brushes over images, vector-trace and extrude images, and animate on custom paths.

The Practical Approach To Double Screening | Greg Gudorf | The Connected World
The audience is doing multiple things at once...
Research published in the UK at the end of 2010 by Thinkbox suggests that 60% of people claim to watch television while online at least two or three times a week, with one in three doing it every day. 44% of double screeners used social networks like Facebook and Twitter while watching television.

2011 Emmy Nominations for Outstanding Main Title Design
| Ian Albinson | The Art of the Title Sequence
Includes video of the titles for: Boardwalk Empire, Rubicon, Too Big To Fail, Any Human Heart and Game of Thrones, and links to articles about some of the sequences as well.

Crazy Vibrations: What Strings Look Like From Inside A Guitar
| Bob Boilen | All Songs Considered NPR
Rolling Shutter makes guitar strings look cool.

Newton for Adobe After Effects | Motion Boutique
Newton interprets each 2D layer as a rigid body in a real environment. Once simulation is completed, animation is recreated in After Effects with standard keyframes.
Main Features: gravity, collisions, friction, support of masks and shapes, handles different sorts of bodies: static, dynamic, kinematic,…

Newton for Adobe After Effects, first tech demo. from motionboutique on Vimeo.

Review: Page One: Inside The New York Times

Making a documentary about The New York Times can't be easy. Where to start? Would you make it about the history of this famous publication, or would you make it about it's current impact? Do you look at it's successes, like the Pentagon Papers, or it's failures, like Judith Miller? Do you examine the process of news gathering and reporting, or why it's necessary to have newspapers? Do you look at where it is today, or do you look to it's future?

I can't imagine assembling this documentary was an easy job, despite the fact that director Andrew Rossi had fairly extensive access to the paper, and some of it's staff, for most of a year. Page One is an intriguing account of the paper, but while it touches on The New York Times history and it's many problems, this documentary is really a homage to traditional newspaper reporting. It rasies the question; 'will The New York Times survive?' but it becomes clear that The New York Times is really a proxy for the traditional newspaper industry. For surely, if The New York Times can't survive, then no newspaper can.

That this institution is scorned by the right for a liberal bias, and by the left for cheerleading the Iraq War, just adds to the complexity.

With some irony, Page One tells it's story of the paper by following the Media and Marketing section of The Times. It spends a large amount of time following reporter David Carr, though several others make strong appearances. A reformed cocaine addict, Carr is nothing if not colorful. You could probably make a two hour documentary about the man and still have enough left over for a mini-series.

David Carr and Bruce Headlam in PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES,
 a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

At a conference panel discussing old media vs. new media, David Carr holds up an index page to the news aggregation site Newser, with all the pieces sourced from traditional media cut out. The large number of cutouts highlighted how dependent "new" media is on "old" media.

On another occasion, Carr tears apart a reporter from Vice who, during an interview, talks as though he discovered the idea of genocide. Stopping him short, Carr points out that The New York Times has been covering genocide all over the world for decades.

We see examples of reporters following stories, calling sources for confirmation, doing traditional "reporting." In one segment they are trying to figure out what was happening when NBC announced that the last convey of combat troops was leaving Iraq. When one reporter tells media editor Bruce Headlam that "NBC says they are declaring the end of combat troops," Headlam wryly notes that "last I checked, NBC isn't at war in Iraq."

The filmmakers had the good fortune to be there during several notable events, including the Wikileaks revelations and a round of downsizing at the paper. Yet for me, it was another event that underlined why the newspaper industry needs to survive. Carr spent over a month investigating how the Tribune company was virtually run into the ground, and just before going to press he went to the Tribune for comments. That was when the lawyers got involved, and the Tribune threatened to sue. Now it's possible that citizen reporters and bloggers might have done the same kind of research for a story, but what would they do if the industry lawyers came calling? Would they risk losing their house? Would they be able to prevent their content being taken down by their ISP?

Page One tells many stories and gives you an inkling of what is happening in the newspaper industry. What is the future for newspapers? Will The New York Times survive? There were no clear answers here. The Times is experimenting with new media itself - there was some coverage of it's now charging for access to their website after a certain number of visits - yet there was a suggestion that this was little more than a bandaid rather than a solution. The strength of this documentary is not that it provided any answers, but that it raises the question, and makes the case that we still need reporting of the kind The New York Times does.

Take Part: PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times
C-Span: Q&A With Andrew Rossi (Director)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Humor: Apple Gets A Phone Call

Seems the Alamo Drafthouse Angry Voicemail caller is back, and she's not happy about Final Cut Pro X.

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